Originally posted by RYS:
... When using the Vortec heads is it a good choice to use a stock LT1 cam? How about the LT1 cam with stock heads? What performance gains would we be looking at with just an LT1 cam with stock heads? Thanks.
I don't have Vortec heads so I am not speaking from direct experience with them in a Bcar.
That said, the L31 Vortecs are the Gen 1 clone of the LT1 iron heads.... so the stock Bcar LT1 cam will run great with the Vortecs to the tune of 255-260 fwhp and 330 ftlbs. I say that because
the factory stock Bcar LT1 cam was also the factory stock cam used in the L31 engine
as used in 1996-1999 Vortec-equipped trucks and vans.
IMO a very conservative approach would be to duplicate what many LT1 owners have done: keep the stock Bcar LT1 cam, modify the exhaust (aftermarket mufflers), and an aftermarket or DIY CAI. That's good for approx 280 fwhp. Ported heads (cleanup on the intake side, and more significant porting on the exhaust side) will gain another 15-20. So you can have 295-300 fwhp using the stock LT1 Bcar cam, and that recipie also holds for using the L31 heads because they're basically the same as iron LT1.
IIRC someone here obtained over 300 rwhp
using the above, plus 1.6 stamped rockers, plus "beehive" valvesprings; there is a thread discussing it on the Engine Performance forum if you search. I can't recall if it was Ed R or Karl E. I also don't know if that included ported heads or not. It represents the best you could do while still using the stock Bcar LT1 cam.
So the stock cam can provide bone stock driveability as well as excellent power IF you alter the rest of the engine's breathing. HTH.